Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2014 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodger Variation Base Cards

Following up on yesterday's post featuring the Dodger base cards found in packs of Topps Update, I now share pics of all the short printed base variation cards that are available.  Go here to check out a complete checklist of the set, or here for a listing of all variations that are available.  Go here to find all post related to this set.

There are four different Dodger variation cards available.  See them all below.  BTW, I show both the normal card and its short printed variation.  Also, with both 'Sparkle' cards I include additional photos showing the exact location of the 'Sparkle.'

2014 Topps Update Series Variations

#US-169 Chone Figgins - Sabermetric Variation

Short Print - Sabermetric Stats

2014 Panini Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary Baseball - The Dodger Sapphire and Autographed Cards

Turning back to Panini's Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary card set, I now share photos of the Sapphire and autographed Dodger insert cards.  Go here to check out a complete checklist of this set. 

The Sapphire card set is Panini's attempt to make valuable embedded precious metal/gem card.  Located near the bottom of the card (in the area that represents home plate) is a small (very small) gemstone.  There are three different variations available; including an Sapphire (#/15), Emerald (#/10) and a Diamond (#/1).

Certainly, this set is suppose to be the premier find in packs.  Unfortunately, they haven't sold too well on eBay.  Over the past week I've seen the Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson gem cards (sapphire or emerald) sell from between $20.00 to $50.00 a piece.  At these kind of prices I just might have to chase them just for the heck of it.  Check out the Dodger cards below.

HOF 75th Anniversary Sapphire Card Set

#18 Jackie Robinson

Blog Kiosk: 10/21/2014 - Dodger Links - Kershaw Named Player of the Year by Baseball America

Andrew McCutchen, Joey Porter and Matt Kemp were at Heinz Field last night to enojoy some pregame banter at last night's Monday Night Football game in Pittsburgh, pic above via @steelers on twitter.  The Steelers defeated the Texans, 30 - 23, largely due to a huge offensive explosion in the second quarter of the game; they scored 24 of their 30 points then.

Below are some links to check out:
  • Continuity, baby!  Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Source: Scouts returning for 2015."
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Davises, Strawberry to enter L.A. City Section Hall of Fame."
  • Via TMZ, "Dodgers Star Hanley Ramirez My Lambo Spits FIRE!"  Check out the TMZ article to see it breath fire.
(pic via Hanley in instagram)
TMZ Sports has learned ... Hanley dropped around $550k for a white 2014 Lamborghini Aventador -- but wanted to make it stand out ... so he went to The Auto Firm in Miami and upgraded the exhaust to one that spits flames. 
My attachment to the Kansas City Royals doesn't come from living in the Midwest or because their colors are similar to the Dodgers or because I want the Giants to lose when the World Series starts. It's not even because I remember the Royals' victory in the '85 Series. No, my attachment began in 1976 when the Royals took on the Yankees and were demoralized by Chris Chambliss' home run off of Mark Littell.
  • Via Scott Andes at Lasorda Lair, "Schebler, Sweeney Heating Up, Seager Off to Slow Start in Arizona Fall League."
  • The Awards for Clayton Kershaw are only beginning to start.  Via Bill Shaikin at Baseball America he was named the PLayer of the Year: "Major League Player Of The Year: Baseball’s Best Pitcher Keeps Looking Ahead."
(cover via @BenBadler on twitter)
  • BTW, for the fourth season in a row Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and newcomer Yankees reliever Dellin Betances were named the 2014 Goose Gosage Award winners yesterday by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  The Goose Gosage Award recognizes the best reliever in each league. I had picked Kimbrel on my National League ballot.  Furthermore, late last week, White Sox Jose Abreau and NY Met Jacob deGrom were named the Willie Mays Award winners for their respective league.  This award recognizes this past season rookie of the year.  Go here to see who were my picks for the BBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance) Post Season Awards.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Topps Update Baseball - All the Dodger Base Cards

Featured here are all of the Dodger base cards found in packs of 2014 Topps Update.  This late-season companion set to Topps flagship Baseball card product was release last week and it shows many of the newly acquired Dodgers added at the end of the season.  It also includes All-Star cards and some rookies.  Go here to check out a complete checklist of the set.

Clearly, the best of the bunch is the Justin Turner card.  Check it out directly below.  What a phenomenal photo for arguably the most impactful player on the team.  I have to consider it one of the best Dodger cards of the year.  The Zack Greinke card, on the other hand, might be the goofiest looking card of the year.  Those All-Star caps look hideous.

BTW, there are a bunch of short-printed Dodger cards available; including sparkle and photo variations.  I'll have pics of all of them to share tomorrow.

#US-67 Scott Van Slyke                          #US-68 Justin Turner

Blog Kiosk: 10/20/2014 - Dodger Links - The Ethier's Inducted into Collegiate Hall of Fame

This past Friday the ASU Sun Devils inducted six new members to their Athletics Hall of Fame and it included both Andre and Maggie Ethier.  Check out the photo above of the group being honored during the schools game against Stanford on Saturday, via @TheSunDevils on twitter.

As you may know, Andre was a two-time All-PAC 10 player at ASU.  He finished up his collegiate career hitting .371 with 113 runs, 27 doubles, seven triples, 14 home runs, and 118 RBIs.  Maggie Ethier (wife of Andre) was an accomplished gymnast at ASU.  Per an ASU press release:
Maggie (Germaine) Ethier was one of the most successful gymnasts in ASU history.  She achieved All-American status in 2001 on the vault and again in 2003 for floor exercise.  She also received first-team All-Pac-10 Conference accolades on the floor and in the all-around in 2003.  She scored nine perfect 10.0s in her career, the most in Arizona State history—including two on the vault, one on the beam, and six on the floor.  In 2004 alone, she recorded five perfect scores.  In 2003, Ethier posted the second-highest all-around score in ASU history, a 39.775 versus UCLA.  She was also a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree.  Overall, Ethier posted seven of the top-18 all-time all-around scores in Sun Devil history. 
They are the first husband and wife team ever inducted into the Sun Devils Hall of Fame.

Below are some links to check out:
  • As you know, the big news of the weekend was the official press conference and introduction of new Dodger executive Andrew Friedman.  Also, as you might expect, there wasn't much substance to it.  He supposedly said some controversial things, but did he really?  Did he say anything worthy of deep discussion?  I don't think so.
Friedman said that Don Mattingly is his guy behind the bench for 2015, and guess what?  There's nothing earth-shattering about that announcement.  Management (Kasten and the boys) have given Donnie their approval and no amount of screaming from the gallery changes that position.  For better or worse he is our manager, and believe it or not Donnie was better behind the bench than most fans give him credit for. 

Do I think Joe Maddon will come to the Dodgers?  No, I do not.  Not that I don't like the guy.  I think he'd make a fine manager in Blue.  I just don't believe Friedman would actively lobby for him; thereby destroying his relationships in Tampa Bay and breaking league rules for tampering.

The Dodgers will focus on the farm system and Friedman is an ideal candidate to head that process.  This part of the grand Dodger plan is nothing new.  Stan Kasten has spoken frequently about this phase of the Dodgers rebuild, so anybody who is surprised that the Dodgers will effectively cease being a free agent buyer hasn't been paying attention.  Also, anyone who thinks we should trade our young farmhands for aging veterans isn't paying attention either. 

We are about to embark on a new Dodger era, and I am excited to see what happens.  I am excited to see how our prospects do, and I look forward to see how they transition the old with the new.  These next few months and years are going to be fascinating.
Byrnes is viewed as a strong possibility to get the coveted job, as sources familiar with the situation say his experience is viewed as a plus for a storied, big-market team with heavy media coverage and add that his philosophy aligns with that of Friedman. The pair are also said to be fairly close, though a prior relationship had been less than obvious.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Friday, October 17, 2014

2014 Panini Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary Baseball - The Dodger Elite Cards

Today, I circle back to Panini's 2014 Hall of Fame 75 Anniversary Baseball card set and feature a couple of insert card brands that were once found in packs in vintage Donruss packs.  For this 75th anniversary set Panini decided to bring back the Elite Dominator and Elite Series brands and several Dodgers are included.  Check them out below.  Go here to check out all the previous post on this Hall of Fame set from Panini.

Elite Dominator Set 

#2 Burleigh Grimes

Blog Kiosk: 10/17/2014 - Dodger Links - Turning Royal Blue and Pederson to Play in Dominican Republic

It's a painful realization when it becomes clear that the Giants are just the better franchise at this point in time.  They've done everything right and have reaped the benefits, as a result.  As Sheen would say, they are 'winning' and right now they are drinking that tiger blood.  That being said, I shall root for that other 'Blue' team to slay that cocky feline like they're one of those rabid lions in 'The Ghost in the Darkness.'  Royals, be Val Kilmer!  Slaughter those Giants!  The graphic above is via Jerry Hairston on instagram.

Below are some links to check out:
  • This is worth your time to read.  Via Janet Marie Smith at Dodger Insider, ‘Back to the Future: Building a Ballpark, Not a Stadium’.  Janet is the Dodgers Senior Vice President of Planning and Development.  She gave a speech at the HOF recently about ballparks and their history, and this post includes its complete text.
  • Joc Pederson to play in the Dominican Winter Leagues for Leones del Escogido, via a tweet from Joc.

“I’m still trying to figure out why I’m at home right now and not in San Francisco.”
  • ICYMI:  Blake Griffin recounts some of his experiences during the Sterling debacle with an article at The Players Tribune.  It's well worth your time to check out.  He ended the piece with a perfect quote.  Check it out below.
“Some people are so poor, all they have is their money.”
  • I just thought I'd pass this along.  Detective Dean Cioppa of the Passaic County Prosecutors Office has been identified on Twitter by Yogi’s granddaughter, Lindsay Berra, as looking for information and leads from collectors in connection with the robbery at the Yogi Berra Museum. He can be reached at 973-837-7667. A $5,000 reward was initially offered by Crimestoppers according to Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura and that reward has increased to over $30,000 thanks to donations from Berra fans and supporters.  As you may know, the museum was broken into and numerous championship rings and 2 MVP awards were stolen.  Initial speculation suggest it was a contracted job since these items could not possibly be sold out in the open.  (Hat Tip: Hauls of Shame.org)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Check Out Some Game-Used Dodger Memorabilia at Goldin Auctions

Goldin is currently running their October Legends 2014 auction, and it includes some nice Dodger related game-used goodies.  There's some vintage apparel, some tools of the trade from a rising prospect and relics from the best pitcher in the game.  Check them out below.  Go here to see other items available at Goldin; including a large collection of memorabilia from Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt and Mel Stottlemyre.
Will he be anointed with an starting job with the Dodgers, or will Joc Pederson be stuck behind a cavalcade of veteran outfielders? 

Who knows? 

With Andrew Friedman just now joining the Dodgers and the winter offseason on the cusp of starting for the entire league, we have plenty of time to find out that answer.  In the meantime, it's fair to say that the Joc question will be one of many things we'll be looking forward to having resolved. 

As for this auction, they featuring a large collection of game-used Joc Pederson items worthy of any Dodger gameroom.  All of these items are from 2013, when he was a member of the AA Chattanooga Lookouts, and are all signed by him.  There's a glove, batting gloves and a pair of cleats.  Awesome!
(Auction Link)

This next item is vintage relic.  Below is a LA Dodgers 1969 road jersey once worn by former #1 draft pick and eventual journeyman catcher Bob Stinson.  He came up through the Dodger farm system after being drafted 15th overall in 1966, and made his Major League debut for the Dodgers in September of 1969.  A year later he was traded, along with Ted Sizemore, to the Cardinals for Dick Allen.
(Auction Link)

There's no doubt that Clayton Kershaw is the top dog on the Dodgers.  So, any game-used memorabilia of his will be highly sought after.  Featured directly below is his 2010 batting helmet
(Auction Link)

Below is Clayton's 2013 postseason game-worn jersey from his very first victory in the playoffs.  Via the auction description:
After five starts over three separate post season series, Clayton Kershaw had yet to record a victory. Enter the 2013 National League Division series versus the Atlanta Braves, with Kershaw stepping on the mound for Game 1. He dominated from the start, throwing seven innings, allowing three hits, one run and whiffing 12 batters leading the Dodgers to a 6-1 road victory.
This jersey shows light game use, but comes with the authentic of MLB via their direct game worn item program indicating this is the exact jersey Clayton Kershaw wore during his first ever post season mound victory. MLB AUTHENTIC (EK387863)
(Auction Link)

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2014 Bowman Chrome Baseball - All the Dodger Insert Cards

Following up yesterday's post featuring the Dodger base cards found in packs of 2014 Bowman Chrome, I now share pics of all of the available insert and autograph cards that are available.    Go here for a complete checklist.

Unfortunately, all of the Alex Guerrero autographed cards come with a redemption, so I do not have photos of them to share.  There are three different autographed Guerrero cards available.  Below is a checklist:
  • Rookie Autographs Set; #BCAR-AG Alex Guerrero 
  • 1989 "Bowman is Back" Black Diamond Refractor Autograp; #BIBA-AG Alexander Guerrero 
  • Mini Chrome Autographs Set; #MCA-AG Alex Guerrero
Also of note, the Dodgers 2014 first round draft pick (22nd overall) Grant Holmes gets his first pack-issued Topps Baseball card.  It is an autographed AFLAC High School All-American and Under Armour All-American Game card.  They were originally given away in late-2013 at a showcase game for high school prospects, and Topps had him sign a few.  See it below.

Prospect Autographs Set Checklist

#BCAP-BD Brandon Dixon                    #BCAP-YG Yimi Garcia

Blog Kiosk: 10/16/2014 - Dodger Links - Kemp Fined and Get Some Kershaw Wine

This past Tuesday was Steve Garvey's most recent edition of 'Garvey & Friends' at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, and I understand it was a great night.  Reggie Jackson was his guest of honor.  The photo above is via Garvey on twitter.  Autograph collector David Park of Park's Autograph Signing's was there and shared his entire experience on his blog - that you can check that out here.  BTW, he was able to get three Baseballs autographed by Reggie.  Awesome!
After the Dodgers' 3-1 Game 3 defeat in St. Louis, Kemp said, "Terrible. Terrible strike zone. I've never seen anything like it. The umpire took the bat out of our hands. When you've got balls in the other batters box ...
Hunsicker joined the Dodgers two years ago as a senior advisor and now is reunited with Friedman, who was named Tuesday to the newly created job of Dodgers president of baseball operations.

"What Andrew brings to the table is the versatility and ability to work with everyone, from the 40-year veteran baseball man to the newer, metric-oriented, analytical-oriented new kid on the block," said Hunsicker. "He has the understanding and respect for the traditions of the game that came before him and the uncanny ability to meld information from every source to arrive at the best decision."
  • This might be the greatest hockey website ever.  Check out wejustscored.com and listen to the glorious sounds of any NHL teams goal scoring horn.  Awesome!  I am, of course, partial to the Kings goal horn.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *
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